Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The new project

It was 1990.

I was heading east on Diversey behind a bright red pick up truck on a beautiful summer day in Chicago.

Four kids, sitting in the bed of that truck with their backs against the cab. Four kids, smiling back at me. Four kids - white, Hispanic, black - enjoying the ride.

My brain took a snapshot of those boys in that truck and I've been saving it ever since.
Babysitting for a family in Warrenville in the early 90's.

The daughter, Ashley, was all of six with bright red hair and freckles and a missing front tooth. She was standing in front of the neighbor's red horse barn in a red polka-dot sun dress.

Again, my brain registered this perfect moment picture.
For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to learn how to take photos. Now, no more 'if I only had a camera' moments.

For my birthday, Jim got me a special fancy schmancy hoo-ha camera.

And I'm learning to use it.

So hopefully you'll see some of my progress over the coming months via the link to the right.
I am listening to: The Ataris - The Boys of Summer
I am reading: Dynamics GP registration list
And I am: Okay

So this is how it was

Get this. Within an hour of being home last night, I:
  1. Drop a packing tape dispenser on my foot. That nifty little serrated edge for cutting the tape? Lands on my big toe. It doesn’t bleed as much as you’d think, but stings like a motherfucker in the shower.

  2. Fall down the stairs. On my ass. Fortunately near the bottom, I only bounce down three steps before landing safely in the foyer.

    Jim, hearing the now familiar sound of me falling on my ass, runs over and asks: “What the hell was THAT?”

    "Ta-DA!" I say, leaping up off the floor with all the energy of a damaged 40 year old.

  3. Stub my toe (the serrated motherfucker) on the bed.
Conveniently close to the bed, I jump in, put the covers over my head, and stay there.

And laugh maniacally until I finally fall asleep.
I am listening to: Jim’s New Cruise Mix
I am reading: Three Cups (still, sorry)
And I am: Nervous

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

So this is how it’s going to be

I dropped the cap for my Mary Kay face cleanser in the shower this morning.

“So this is how it’s going to be today,” I thought.

Then I dropped a fresh tampon in the toilet. (I know: Ew.)

Next, my mobile phone died in the middle of Mom even though it was on the charger all night.

Then I got stuck behind three giant orange Asplundh tree-eating trucks doing 30 mph all the way to train.

It’s not a bad day by any stretch.

But it’s 8 a.m. and it’s way too early to be this irritated.
At least I’m not alone.

Mom said she’s having the same kind of day.

Small, silly, irritating things that signal nothing will go smoothly today.
Even now, on the last express into the city, nothing feels quite right.

I am sitting up top alone. It’s quiet, now that the professional douchebag with the tattoo on the back of his neck who calls everyone “brother” has stopped talking on his phone.

But the seat is uncomfortable and the skirt is bunched up under my ass and the train is rocking a little more than usual and one of my contacts is fogged up for no good reason and all I can think is: Please let me make it to my desk without my skirt flying up or tripping on the stairs or something like that.

The thing is, everything should be going well. I’ve made good decisions so far. I was outta bed like a shot at 4:30 a.m. to work out. Doing that is supposed to virtually guarantee a good day.

And yet.
Plus, the weekend was perfect.

In spite of it being nothing like originally planned (I was supposed to be in Palm Springs with Nelson & Chris), it was exactly how Memorial weekend should be: Plenty of friends, sunshine, Jack Daniels, bratwurst, yard work, Scrabble, cheeseburgers, tequila, cream cheese brownies (thank you, Ms. Moo!), and walkies.

And yet.
Okay. Whew. I made it to the desk without skirt blowage or trippage.

But when I got here, the Mac couldn’t find the wireless mouse or keyboard. It could see my neighbor’s keyboard and mouse. But not mine, sitting right here on the desk.

So I had to reboot (which never, ever happens with a Mac) and wait while it finally got its shit together.

Then, I was IM’ing two friends and got the conversations mixed up and ended up saying some rather Bad Swears to a person who is not accustomed to hearing them this early in the morning.

And so it goes.
Have you had days like this? Where, in spite of your best efforts, nothing seems to go right or well?

And no, I won’t blame it on the Universe or that silly Mercury retrograde thing this time.

I won’t blame it on anything except that’s how things go some times.

Now the mouse is telling me that its battery is low. And I think I'm catching a cold.

Again, this is not a bad day by any standard.

But damn.
I am listening to: Ozzy – I Don’t Wanna Stop
I am reading: Three Cups
And I am: Saying Bad Swears

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Conversation 101 - Revisited

Editorial note: Before you go complainin' about recycled blog material, do me a favor. Read this again. All the way through. A refresher can't hurt.

And you have a HedyBlog Promise this won't become a habit.
Some people just give good conversation.

Maybe it’s your best friend. Your mom. Or if you’re really lucky, your spouse.

Time flies when you’re with them. You usually learn something new – an easier way to do something or a different way of looking at your world. Sometimes you even learn a little bit about yourself.

The good conversationalist you know is genuinely interested in what you have to say and asks questions about what’s going on in your life.

And they make it easy for you to do the same in return.

It’s a cool and equal exchange of ideas and information – what a conversation is truly meant to be.
Then there are those folks you go out of your way to avoid talking with – people who wouldn’t know a good conversation if it sat on their face, spun around three times, and shouted hallelujah.

These people are the Conversationally Impaired. Chances are they fit into one or a even a few of the following categories:

The Historian – A simple yes or no answer would suffice, but this guy has a story to tell. It usually involves his wife or kids or dog (sometimes all three) and takes a minimum of 30 minutes to tell. By which point you’ve both forgotten why he’s telling the story in the first place.

The Bitch – Male or female. Loves ranting (with no interruptions please) about how wrong it is and who’s responsible for it. Usually accompanied by much finger pointing and hand waving. Expects the worst out of the world and usually gets it given their attitude and disposition.

The One-Upper – Ironically, conversations with this person rarely go anywhere and they usually go something like this:

“We went to Brazil last year and it was great.”

Instead of asking a question like “How long were you there?” or “How was the food?” the One-Upper responds:

“Oh yeah? Well when we went to the South of France…”

It’s never a conversation with One-Uppers, just a verbal volley – a boring competition to see who’s done or seen or spent the most.

The Close-Talker – Violates your personal space by getting thisclose to your face. The more you back up, the more they move in. Unless you can maneuver yourself to the edge of a convenient cliff, it’s tough getting away from the classic CT.

Deadly Phone Yapper – You’ve said “I really gotta go” five times in the past 20 minutes and the DPY is still talking. You put the phone down, visit the bathroom, fold some laundry, do your taxes and mow the lawn and the DPY is still going strong when you pick it back up. Caller ID is proof that God loves us (apologies to B. Franklin) and is kryptonite to the DPY.

The Know It All – The self-appointed Smartest Person in the Room. Enjoys hearing the sound of her own voice and is an expert on Everything including topics with which she has little knowledge or experience. Always, always right. Unless you’re into self-flagellation, arguing with her is an exercise in futility.

The Interrupter – Never lets anyone finish a sentence. A classic conversation killer when combined with a One-Upper or Know It All. Too busy thinking about what they’re gonna say next to listen to what you’re talking about.

The Egomaniacal Babbler – Doesn’t actually need others to have a conversation. Talks incessantly to anyone within earshot and doesn’t wait for or even expect a response. Tells you every single thing that’s going on in their lives without taking a breath. Often wonders why they never know what’s going on with anyone else but is usually too self-absorbed to ask. Add a phone and the EB easily transforms into a DPY.

The Drunk – Says the same thing over and over again regardless of how you respond. Usually bossy, weepy or angry – sometimes all three. Often combined with the Close Talker.
Recognize someone you know? How about yourself?

C’mon, you know you do it.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am an Interrupter and can be a Know It All on occasion.

And when I’m The Drunk I tend to repeat Really Bad Swears at the top of my lungs in public places.

Very charming. That’s why I don’t drink so much.
You need escape tactics for when you’re trapped yapping with the Conversationally Impaired. Here they are, in no particular order of importance or effectiveness:

Self-Extrication Maneuver #1: Drink heavily.

But Heather, you just said alcohol is bad.


Alcohol seldom makes any situation better. But this is one of those rare occasions when getting completely hammered actually helps.

Here’s why: An empty glass is always the perfect excuse to duck out of a bad conversation. If you get roped into a yap fest with the Conversationally Impaired and you have a drink in your hand, you are in complete control. Your conversation will only last as long as it takes to quaff that convenient can of beer. Plus, if you’re drinking a lot you usually have to hit the bathroom more often – another great excuse to get the hell outta there.

Tip: Always position yourself far away from the bar or kitchen or keg so you have to leave to re-fill your glass.

Bonus: This tactic actually works in the office with non-alcoholic beverages. Getting up to get a glass of water or hit the john works well in virtually any environment.

Caveat: Drinking heavily when dealing with The Drunk doesn’t work because he usually follows you to the bar or bathroom. The good news is that if you’re trapped by a Drunk, you can just keep drinking until you stop caring about the quality of the conversation and become a bossy, weepy, angry repeater yourself.

SEM #2: If you’re sitting down, stand up. This is a signal that you’re going somewhere and it is time for that person to leave. Works great in an office.

SEM #3: Instant messenger is your friend. If you get trapped in a long conversation with a Deadly Phone Yapper, IM someone you trust and have them call you. Turns out, you’ve “been expecting this Really Important Call” and can extricate yourself safely.

SEM #4: Give them something. There’s a psychology to this and I’m not sure why it works, but if you hand something to someone it is a signal for them to leave. I learned this from working high tech trade shows. The easiest way to end a conversation is to give ‘em a piece of candy or a cheap pen. Works like a charm every time.

SEM #5: Fart. Loudly, frequently, and fragrantly. Belching works, too. But watch out: This tactic could literally blow up in your face if you’re dealing with a Drunk One-Upper.

Tip: I find that combining several Self-Extrication Maneuvers is most effective. The Stand Up, Get a Drink, Hand ‘em Something combo is very nice in an office situation. The Drink Heavily maneuver usually leads to unintentional Fart maneuvers, especially when draft beer is involved.

Of course, the Drink Heavily, Fart, Fall Down and Shit Your Pants maneuver has the highest degree of effectiveness but is extremely difficult and shouldn’t be attempted by amateurs.
So we’ve learned who they are and how to avoid them, but what if like me, you’re guilty of being Conversationally Impaired on occasion? How can all of us make the world a better place by working harder to have great conversations?

Here’s the secret to being a good conversationalist: Shut the Fuck Up.

A conversation is usually give and take between two or more people. If you’re doing most of the talking, it’s not a conversation. It’s a lecture. And lectures suck.

If you work hard at becoming a good listener first, you’re more than halfway there. Focus and really listen to what the other person is saying. Maintain eye contact.

Ask questions based on what the other person tells you. I ask questions for two reasons: 1) It gets me out of “It’s all about me” mode and 2) I learn a lot.

Here’s another tip: Read up on current events so that you have something new or interesting to share with your friends. Try reading a good book once in a while, not just the latest James “I need to use TV commercials to sell books” Patterson crap.

Like I’ve said before, it all comes down to self-awareness.

Be aware of your tendencies to be Conversationally Impaired, shut the fuck up once in a while, and above all, listen.

And if all else fails, Drink Heavily.
I am listening to: You
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Tired of listening

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In the spirit of Rather Than Working. . .

A special edition mid-day post in honor of a discovery that made me spit Diet Pepsi all over the Mac: HedyBlog is the #1 Google hit for "my ass is getting so big."

I am listening to: The printer printing seminar survey sheets
I am reading: Three Cups
And I am: So proud

Three Cups of Tea

It is 9:01 a.m. on Wednesday.

I have nothing for the blog today because I read Three Cups of Tea on the train ride home. And I talked with my train buddies on the ride in to the city this morning.

So I have nothing. But I'm not sorry.

Because the book is amazing. It's about Greg Mortenson, a man who works and lives out of his car to save money for building schools in Pakistan.

Of course I'm not doing it justice. And maybe you won't want to read about an American who has done more to promote peace in the Middle East than any of our silly, bombastic politicians.

Please give it a try. It is heartwarming and exciting and interesting -- and I'm only half way through.

Trust me, you won't regret one minute of the time you spend reading this amazing book.
I am listening to: Third Eye Blind - Semi-Charmed Life
I am reading: Three Cups
And I am: Happy

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cialis interruptus

Have you seen the latest Cialis commercial?

The prototypical older, yet attractive couple is at dinner – snoogling like teenagers.

He pops a pill (Cialis: When the Moment is Right or some shit like that) in anticipation of a night of Hot Monkey Sex with the ol’ lady.

But fate is a cold, cruel mistress.

The car breaks down on the way home to the love nest and -- get this -- the Hot Monkey Sex (HMS) is delayed.

When you're safe at home tonight on the computer you use primarily for porn, do a search on "Cialis".

Keep in mind these are supposed to be people who grew up in the Happy Days era of drive-ins and cruise nights and making out in your ’57 Bel Air , for Pete’s sake. You did everything in your car back then. And who can forget when Richie/Potsie/Ralph Malph found his thrill by pretending to run outta gas?

And these people call a tow truck rather than seeing it as an opportunity for HMS in the BMW?

There are a lotta reasons to really hate those commercials, but c’mon people.

Know your audience.
And finally: A great big Happy Birthday to you, Bill. Love you, miss you.
I am listening to: Lesley Gore - You Don't Own Me
I am reading: Three Cups of Tea
And I am: Great

Monday, May 21, 2007

Michael Moore: One sicko fuck

Let’s say I find out you are in serious debt because your wife has been in and out of hospitals this past year.

It’s bad. The healthcare bills are taking over everything, including your ability to keep your job.

Being of ‘generous spirit’, I send you a check for $12,000.


In this crazy age of ID theft and whathaveyou, you are somewhat suspicious of this anonymous gift. You do a little investigating to verify that, by cashing the check, you are not plunging yourself further into debt.

Good news: The check checks out. You cash it. Life is good again.

Or so you think.

Once you’ve cashed the check, I write about the whole thing in my blog, mentioning you by name.

I call and leave you a voice mail letting you know about it after the fact.
Nice, huh?

Actually, that is exactly what Michael Moore did to a man named Jim Kenefick.

Kenefick’s wife was sick and he was struggling to pay for her healthcare. Moore gave Kenefick $12k ‘anonymously’ and then used it in his new film ‘Sicko’ which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival on Saturday.

He called and left a voice-mail for Kenefick letting him know what he'd done after more than 2000 people saw the movie.
I dunno.

I thought the whole idea of making an anonymous donation was to stay, um, anonymous.

You do it because you can and because it’s the right thing to do. You do it because it makes a difference.

You don’t do a generous thing and then use it to make a point or to make yourself look good, as Michael Moore does in his most recent film.
Full disclosure: Kenefick publishes a blog that is highly critical of Michael Moore. It’s called Moorewatch.

Today, it’s obvious that Moore gave that money to Kenefick with no intention of remaining anonymous and with every intention of using it in his film.

Ass-hats are calling Kenefick an ungrateful prick among other things.

They’re saying he’s ungrateful because when he found out what Moore had done, he wrote about it in his blog.

He also thanked Moore repeatedly, but the press isn’t mentioning that.
I know next to nothing about Kenefick but I do know he’s in a tough spot. The best option for him is to find some way to give the money back to Moore.

I would make a donation to help that cause.

Anonymously, of course.
I am listening to: The Sopranos
I am reading: Three Cups of Tea
And I am: Disgusted

Friday, May 18, 2007

Pure really stinks

"How come you never wear the perfume I got you for Christmas?" asks Jim last night.

"Because. . . sometimes it gives me a headache," I say.

"It's better than that other stuff you wear," he says.

"You mean the stuff that makes me smell like your mom?"

The last two Christmases, I've asked Jim to buy me perfume -- something he likes and picks out himself.

I was more than a little nervous because perfume is extremely personal. And, not that Jim has bad taste, but there was a slight chance I could've ended up smelling like a $2 whore.

Thankfully the experiment was successful and I smelled like Calvin Klein Euphoria that year.

Not so much this year.

It's called Pure by Eddie Bauer. Its stinky sweet smell gives me a mild headache Right There between my eyes.

Yes. Shaddap.
"$2 whore?"

Please. Seriously.

I charge WAY MORE than that these days. Especially after the boob job.
Pure options:

1) I could spray it in the toilet every morning until it's gone.
2) I could wear it once a week and take Advil.
3) I could accidentally on purpose drop the bottle on the bathroom tile and take lots of Advil.
And finally: Happy Birthday to our good friend "I'm so glad you're not a woman" Chris.

Best wishes, buddy.
I am listening to: Candy - Iggy Pop & Kate Pierson
I am reading: Three Cups of Tea
And I am: Smelly

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The cosmic joke

There’s been a bit of a tiff on the morning train.

I won’t go into details and name names – it wouldn’t be right – but it has involved no small amount of anger/hurt feelings and several rather silly avoidance maneuvers.


The stars aligned this morning and all of us were together once again on the 7:42.

Planted between the two tiffees, I could feel the tension.

But civility was the order of the day and just like the train, the conversation moved along smoothly with only a few to-be-expected stops.
“My wife’s birthday is this Sunday,” says one of us. “Any ideas?”

This launches into the standard questions: Does she have any hobbies, does she like jewelry, blah yadda blah.

“When is your birthday?” I ask the tiffee to my left.

“August,” he says. “August 27.”

“WHAT DID YOU SAY?” says the tiffee to my right, with eyes full of incredulity. "WHEN IS YOUR BIRTHDAY?"

“August 27,” he repeats.

“Unbelievable,” she says. “That’s my birthday.”

And all of a sudden I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe.

A cosmic joke.
For you hard-hearted pragmatists, I’m sure the birthday thing is just a silly coincidence.

But for those of us who believe the Universe has an excellent sense of humor, it was the best cosmic joke I’ve heard in years.

Cosmic jokes – have you ever experienced one? The Universe reminding you in no small or subtle way that we’re all connected and we need to love each other and lighten up a bit?

It will take some heavy thinkery on my part to even remember the last time it’s happened.

So when it does, it’s a cause for great joy.

As is the idea that two of my good train buddies were born on the same day.
I am listening to: The one-song saxophone player on the Madison Street bridge
I am reading: Three Cups of Tea
And I am: Laughing

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Jerry Falwell goes to hell

“Um, it’s a little warm in here,” says Jerry Falwell, loosening the tie around his fat white neck. “When do I get to meet Jesus?”

“Jesus? Great guy. He stops by every Thursday for bread pudding and bowling,” says Lucifer, laughing. “He can’t bowl for shit, but he’s always got the best jokes. Last week he…have you heard the one about the nun, the priest and the dildo?”

“Bowling? Bread pudding? Where in hell am I?” asks Falwell.

“Well, you’re on Level One for processing but we’ll be shipping you off to Level Nine before you can say God Hates Fags.”
Jerry Falwell is the reason why I don’t call myself a Christian.

Of course he’s not the only reason – not believing in the whole He Died for Our Sins thing is a biggie – but Falwell is definitely #2 on Hedy’s little pagan laundry list.

I don’t call myself a Christian because the last thing I want is to be lumped in with hate-spewing idiots like Falwell who have perverted and defiled Christ’s profound yet simple message of love and acceptance.
Bowling? Bread pudding?

Of course. What? Did you think hell would be all brownies and blowjobs?

That’s heaven.
With Falwell finally dead the world is a less hateful place.

And hell? I’m sure they’re all too happy to welcome him into the fold.
I am listening to: Train – When I Look to the Sky
I am reading: Three Cups of Tea by Mortenson/Relin
And I am: Heading to Level Two

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


As hard as I tried, the Mac just wouldn’t fit in the tiny overnight bag needed for the Top Secret Mother’s Day Mission on Saturday.

Stuffing it in there would have rendered Mom’s ‘I hope you got me something good’ present into something somewhat less than good and that was simply not acceptable.

So the laptop – like a well worn woobie except I rarely wipe my nose on it – was left behind with Much Anxiety and Stomping of the Feet.
One of my stories – and we all have ‘em – is that I don’t have any addictions.

“I don’t drink too much, I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke, blah blah,” I’d claim proudly whilst irritating the piss outta anyone within earshot.

Guess what? It’s not true.

I’m addicted to on-line. I need need NEED to be connected.
How many hours would you say you spend on-line each day?

This is painful.

Between instant messenger, e-mail and the Internet I am plugged in all day at work – eight hours. Plus two or three hours at home in the evenings sitting in front of the TV.

Plugged in 12 hours a day? Jesus. No wonder my ass is getting so big.
They say admitting your problem is the first step to recovery. They also say that you need to hit Rock Bottom before you can begin to get better.

They are usually right. But sometimes I wish They would just shut the fuck up, ya know?


That brief and ill-fated foray into Second Life was probably rock bottom for me. How sad, pathetic and obsessed do you have to be to create a fake on-line persona so you can ‘live’ on-line?

It was twisted for sure. And it made me realize I’m missing out on too much by being tied to this goddamn Mac all the time.
“Well, look at you!” said Jim, sitting next to me on the couch last night. “You’re actually reading the paper! What’s going on?”

“I have an addiction,” I reply, giving him Very Serious Hedy Face. “I’m not sure if it’s genetic, but your support would be appreciated during my recovery from this disease.”
It turns out I didn’t miss the Mac over the weekend. And I didn’t miss it too much last night.

It turns out being unplugged is easier than I thought.

So I can go back to irritating everyone with my addiction-free lifestyle.
I am listening to: Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Israel K
I am reading: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David O. Relin
And I am: Skipping step two for sure

Monday, May 14, 2007


"You look like a breath of fresh air today!" says Sir Richard with a sparkly blue-eyed smile as I step down from the train this morning.

It's those kinds of greetings -- completely spontaneous and utterly sincere -- that can totally make your day.
"Hello, slut!" says one of my favorite co-workers, stopping by my desk to share stories from the weekend.

Again with the spontaneous sincerity.

Love, love, love it.
Mother's Day Update: Made a Top Secret Mission to Michigan Saturday morning. Mom was surprised. We cried. She kept calling me Heather Joy. And You Little Shit.

You know you're doing something right when people call you names.
I am listening to: Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
I am reading: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David O. Relin (Excellent!)
And I am: Joyful

Friday, May 11, 2007

Not just another day

“I thought about coming for Mother’s Day, but with Jim gone the last two weeks…” I say, trailing off with no small amount of guilt this morning on the way to the train.

“It’s okay,” Mom says, as I know she will. “It’s just another day.”

“It’s NOT just another day!”

“Well then I sure hope you got me something good,” she says, laughing.
Today’s call started with a song:

Good morning, good morn-ing
You’ve slept the whole night through
Good morning, good morning to you!

Sometimes we sing. It’s what we do.
There’s no Hallmark card on the planet that could capture what I’d say about my Mom for Mother’s Day.

But all of my best memories are of Mom making everything better. Everything.

Small, sick and miserable, sheets soaked with sweat -- Mom cleans me up, putting fresh sheets on the bed and fresh PJs on me.

Nervous and freaked out over a new job -- Mom reminds me of my first job at McDonald's and the shake machine spraying all over the front of my uniform, and what a bad day THAT was.

In the hospital after a car accident -- Mom dead-heads all the flower arrangements, straightens up the room, making me laugh so hard it hurts.

Post knee surgery -- Mom comes again, waking up with me during the night to feed me crackers and meds, making sure I'm comfortable.

She's the biggest blessing of my life.

And she always, always makes everything all better.
I am reading: National Geographic (still)
I am listening to: Mother’s Day Mix for Mom
And I am: Blessed

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Shit breath avoidance revisited

My mouth has been at DEFCON 1 since January when I was due for my last cleaning.

The old dentist was five minutes from my old office. So for the past two years I’ve been driving 45 minutes one way, out of my way, to see him. He was a good dentist. But damn.

So on a cold day in the middle of winter, I decided to blow off the cleaning and find a new dentist.

Yesterday I finally made it to the new dentist, right next to my dry cleaner and across the parking lot from my chiropractor and the tanning place.

If a gynecologist moves into that strip mall, I’m golden.
“So where do you floss?” asks Sue the oral hygienist.


“Between. My teeth. All of them?” I respond, cocking my head like Gromit when he hears me whisper ‘bye-bye?’

“No, I mean where in your house do you floss?” she clarifies.

“Oh. In the bathroom,” I respond and then start giggling uncontrollably – never a good thing when you’re prone in a dentist chair with your mouth wide open.

“Start flossing in your car,” she explained. “While you’re driving home from work. It’s a good habit.”
I like the concept of flossing in my car. Using the drive home from the train station to take care of my gums makes sense.

But the thought of flinging little bits of sammich all over the place is just gross. I did take the opportunity to buy some neato-skeeto Buzz Lightyear disposable flossers.

Who the hell am I kidding? I’m gonna do what I’ve always done: I’ll floss only after eating corn on the cob. Or strawberries. For sure when I’m overdue for a cleaning.

And where will I floss? In between my teeth. All of them. In my bathroom, as God intended.
I am listening to: Everlast – What It’s Like
I am reading: The May issue of National Geographic – an article about Native Americans
And I am: Squeaky clean

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Say no more

Can we all just step away from the ledge on this Winking at the Queen incident please?

I understand the need to show respect for visiting dignitaries and whathaveyou.

But this is America, folks.

We wink. When we fuck up. To show affection. When we're caught with a finger full of frosting.

Etiquette schmetiquette.

The Queen was on our turf visiting our biggest fool, what the hell did she expect?
I am listening to: Sleeping dog breathing
I am reading: Neil
And I am: A sport

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Finger of God

Confession: We watch the movie Twister every Spring. It's pretty much five levels of awful but we love it.

Pop it in on a night when there's a Tornado Watch in Effect in Your Area until 10 p.m. (CDT), I guarantee you'll enjoy it.

Plus, it's got flying cows. You gotta love a movie with flying cows.
At one point in Twister, Bill Paxton's scrappy team of tornado chasers is talking about the Fujita scale for measuring what a tornado 'eats'.

Melissa, the naive outsider asks: Is there an F-5? What would that be like?

[Insert dramatic-cinematic-tornadic pause]

And Jason 'Preacher' Rowe responds: The Finger of God.
Question: When the hell did tornadic become a word? Have your local Weather Wizards started using this yet? Are their jobs so difficult that they needed to invent an adjective to make it easier?
Oh yeah, we also watch that other famous tornado movie, The Wizard of Oz.

Like a kid, I still get chills every time the monkeys fly. And you gotta love a movie with flying monkeys.
On February 13, 2007, the Kansas State Board of Education came to its senses and approved a new curriculum which removed any reference to Intelligent Design as part of science.

On May 4, 2007, an F5 tornado -- The Finger of God -- wiped out 95% of Greensburg, Kansas.

I am shocked and just a little disappointed that the Rev. Jerry "gay pagan abortionists caused 9/11" Falwell hasn't made that connection yet.
I am listening to: Mary J. Blige - Family Affair
I am reading: Not a goddamn thing
And I am: Windy with a slight chance of God

Monday, May 07, 2007

Curious about George

What was he doing? What the HELL was he doing?

I’m talking about George Tenet.

Did you see him on Meet the Press Sunday morning? The following is from the transcripts of NBC News' Meet The Press on May 6:

MR. RUSSERT: But if your president's giving a State of the Union address, and even if you hadn't vetted it, but then it appears in his speech...

MR. TENET: Right.

MR. RUSSERT: ...why wouldn't the next day or the day after...

MR. TENET: Well...

MR. RUSSERT: say, "Please, that's not accurate, you can't say that." Why did you wait six months?

MR. TENET: Well, well, Tim, you know, no one came into me to say it. I didn't watch the speech that night. I didn't go back and read the speech carefully. My fault in not doing that, our fault for not taking it out of the speech. But our position on this was very, very clear from September and October going forward about what we thought about it. This was not--nitro and yellowcake had nothing to do with our judgment that Saddam is reconstituting nuclear weapons. Nothing to do with it.
George Tenet didn’t watch the State of the Union on January 28, 2003 -- arguably one of the most important speeches leading up to the war in Iraq.

As an American citizen, I’m obligated to watch this speech. It’s once a year, for Christ’s sake.

So what the FUCK was he doing that night?

Any ideas?
I am listening to: Office talk
I am reading: SharePoint 2007 notes
And I am: Sneezy

Friday, May 04, 2007

I'm a Know Person

So three witches tell MacBeth that one day he’ll be king.

Rather than kicking back and waiting for this glorious event to transpire (and, let’s face it, goaded by his shrew-bitch of a wife), MacBeth kills the current king and takes the throne.

It is my favorite Shakespeare.

Here’s a question: If the witches hadn’t told him he’d be king, would it have happened? Had he just let events unfold would he still be king? Or were the witches playing him, knowing he’d take matters into his own hands?

Do we have free will? Can we change the future – or will it happen anyway, with or without our best efforts?
Some people believe ignorance is bliss. Others need to know.

I’m a know person.

If someone says “Good news, bad news. Which do you want to hear first?”

I always want the bad first.

If there’s information out there that’s gonna help me prepare for what’s coming, I want it. All of it.

I’m not talking about silly psychic stuff, a la MacBeth.

No, I’m talking about everyday knowledge that regular people could share with you about your home, work, and social life.

For example: If your best friend knew for certain that your wife was cheating on you, would you want him to share it? Would you want to know?

Or if your boss knew for certain that you were going to be fired but wasn’t supposed to tell you yet, would you want her to share it with you?

Are we obligated to share knowledge with people who might be negatively affected by it?

And how does that knowledge change future events, if at all?
I am listening to: Sales meeting
I am reading: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen
And I am: Ready

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Saving the world, one blowjob at a time

Yesterday my friend Spike called me out as a person who complains without offering up any solutions.

Perhaps he’s just a little bit right after yesterday’s blog. Although the answer seemed obvious to me, it’s apparent even a graduate of both Harvard and Yale might have trouble seeing the solution to the Iraq cock-up: Get the hell outta there.

[Insert your favorite both hands/flashlight or ass/hole in the ground statement here.]
Today I am accepting Spike’s challenge and offer up the following theory: All of the world’s biggest problems can be solved with blowjobs.


HEDY! The world has serious, serious issues and you’re making a joke.

Nope. I’m serious. Seriously serious.

Think about it: When Bill Clinton was president, the economy was booming. The national debt was nothing. We had no war. And blowjobs in the White House.
Take global warming. The #1 cause of global warming is carbon dioxide emissions – primarily from the burning of fossil fuels to produce electricity and the burning of gasoline to produce traffic jams.

Women: Pay attention. Light some candles. Get on your knees.

It’s a win-win.

You reduce your ComEd bill with the romantic lighting and your guy stays home more often rather than driving around in his big SUV looking for scotch, women and golf balls. Or something.

Say it with me guys: “C’mon baby, it’s to help the environment.”

See? Isn’t this fun?
World hunger? Too easy.
Back to the mess in Iraq. Ugly for sure.

Pulling out is one answer. But I say put it in, boys.

Rather than a surge of troops, we need to send a surge of sluts over there.

Call it Operation Desert Dome.

We’ll send over our best and brightest prostitutes; I’m sure Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the D.C. madam, has some good connections and would love to help out.

Think about it. These terrorist nut-jobs will have no time to think about blowing themselves up if they’re too busy being…well, you know.
Next up: Abortion.

Abstinence Schmabstinence. The Christian Coalition has it all wrong.

Just think of all the unwanted pregnancies that could be avoided if women would just give more blowjobs.

Shaddap. You know I’m right.
Obesity? Hey, they call it a job for a reason. If you’re doing it right, you’ll burn some calories for sure.
Immigration. This is a tough one.

Theory #1: Mexicans come here illegally for the jobs. We need to get them to stay in Mexico for the blowjobs.

Eh, scratch that. Who would mow your lawn? Or serve your burritos?

The way I see it, the immigration issue is all about economics. We need cheap, illegal labor. They’re cheap and illegal.

Actually, it doesn’t seem like there’s much of a problem after all. And blowjobs could only make that situation better.

Damn I’m good.

There’s no need to thank me, really. I’m just doing my part to make a small difference in the world.
I am listening to: Eve - Let Me Blow Ya Mind
I am reading: Everything
And I am: A Goodwill Ambassador

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


...and keeps right on fucking all of us.
According to the New York Times, Bush called the measure a “prescription for chaos and confusion."

Because what's happening over there now is all sunshine and blowjobs, yes?

But wait, it gets better: Bush also said, “Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure, and that would be irresponsible."

3352 dead? 24000+ wounded? Nearly $500 billion?

It's already a failure due to the Bush administration's irresponsible behavior.
I am listening to: Dogs running around the house
I am reading: Neil
And I am: Fed up

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May march

They’re marching again in Chicago today. I can’t wait.

It’s thrilling.

Thousands of people united for a cause.

I don’t care what you believe on the immigration issue, when thousands of people gather like that, you can’t help but take notice.
Speaking of which:


On Tuesday, May 1 we will not be open for lunch.
We will not have the necessary workforce to maintain our
high levels of quality and service so we are closing for lunch only.
We will open at 5 p.m. for dinner.

“Check it out,” I say to Jim the IT guy, standing in front of the hostess counter at Lalo’s Mexican on LaSalle. “It’s because of the immigration march tomorrow.”

“They come here and do the jobs no one else wants,” he says.

“Yep, and when they don’t do the jobs no one else wants, businesses shut down.”
Your family is living in poverty. Every day is a struggle. There’s never enough money for food. There is no good medical care.

There is a job waiting for you in the United States. But you have to break the law to get it.

Would you do it? Would you break the law to provide the basics for your family?

I would. In a heartbeat.
Lalo’s is a classic Mexican restaurant: Bright colors, mosaic tiles on the wall, wrought iron. If you’ve ever been to Chicago, it’s in what used to be Michael Jordan’s restaurant. There are small, brass engraved nameplates at each booth, the only holdovers from that heady era.

“That’s the waiter from La Margarita,” says Jim the IT guy, taking a tortilla chip out of the freshly delivered basket.

“Really?” I say. “We should ask him what happened.”

La Margarita was our favorite Mexican restaurant in the Loop. It was reliably good food. And Francisco, our regular waiter, was fabulous – the kind of guy who’s there with a Diet Pepsi refill before you even think of asking.

It was a great place to take new employees for their welcome lunches and we always looked forward to it.

But at five city blocks away, it was a bit of a cold blustery hike in the winter. So a few weeks ago when the weather finally turned warm, we set out for our old standby – only to discover it was gone. Shut down. As if it was never there.

“They give us no notice,” Francisco tells us. “On December 22, I work. On December 26, I come and it is closed. They say nothing. I work there 11 years, nothing.”

Francisco, who worked the part-time lunch shift, went on to explain how bad he felt for the full time employees who were left jobless.

“This is why I always have two job,” he says. “You never know what happen.”
Businesses benefit from having illegal immigrants here because they do the shit jobs that no one else wants for low wages. And they don’t complain because they can’t complain – they’re here illegally.

Businesses hire illegal immigrants to avoid paying fair wages and health insurance.

Businesses are breaking the law.

Why are we so quick to blame poor brown people for the problems created by greedy white people?
Francisco is not serving up Diet Pepsi refills at Lalo’s today.

There’s no way of knowing if he is participating in the march.

But I know he’s a good guy. He works his ass off. Two jobs.
I am listening to: Ne-Yo - Because of You
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Grateful